Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Former Melrose Band Director Facing Sex Charges

Former Melrose High School band instructor arrested in Florida

I got a tip that a former Melrose High School band director had been arrested in Florida on sex charges.  I did some digging and found the arrest had already made news in West Palm Beach.. Because the guy was working as a band director down there.  However, the charges involve his time at Melrose in Memphis.  A deputy arrested Leebrian Walker when a warrant from Memphis came up during a traffic stop.  I'm told there were always rumors about Walker and boys in the band during his time here.  But many stand by him, despite these charges.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teen's Suicide Prompts Interstate Shutdown

Lanes closed on I-40 after police say Arlington High student jumped to death

We generally don't cover suicides.. Unless they impact the public or involve public people.  This one stalled traffic for hundreds of drivers.  But I also wanted to, at least, offer some information for other people who may be struggling.  It's so sad to think a 16 year-old boy got to the point where he wanted to park on a bridge and jump into traffic below.  Perhaps this can lead to conversations between parents and their children.. Or even adults who feel they may have no alternatives.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Warming Centers Attract More Than Homeless

Warming centers open to anyone seeking relief from the cold

The deep freeze prompted the City of Memphis to open three "warming centers."  I was tasked with finding a family or people seeking relief in one of them.  It worried me a little.  People are prideful and are not always willing to talk about potential hardships.  However, I found at least two men who were willing to share their stories.  One of them even brought his 10 year-old son with him to stay warm.  I was glad to see people taking advantage of something that really could keep them safe, and warm.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Some Uproar Over "The Lion King" Cancellation

'The Lion King' show at The Orpheum Theatre canceled Tuesday

The Orpheum Theatre decided to cancel Tuesday night's performance of "The Lion King" due to the wintry weather.  The announcement sparked understanding and uproar alike.  I dispatched my photographer to The Orpheum to get some video.  Fortunately, he ran into some patrons too.  One young lady turned out to be a great interview.  I did a phone interview with another man who travelled with his family five hours to see the show.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

On The Road For Icy Weather Coverage

Overnight re-freeze a worry for TDOT, others

Icy, snowy, or severe weather doesn't mean a day off or working from home for news folks.. It means we're out and about in it.  In my case, I did a live shot actually driving down the road.  Well, my photographer did the driving.  It as a way to illustrate how crews had treated the ice-covered roadways.  I also got a chance to visit TDOT's traffic management center, which was pretty cool.  More than 120 traffic cameras are monitored on a huge video wall.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Once Wayward Youth Now MPD Officer

37 new officers join police force

This MPD graduation ceremony had to be one of the most highly anticipated.  It came after a loss of many officers due, in part, to recent healthcare and pension cuts.  There have also been high-profile crimes involving officers.  But I wanted to make this about more than those issues.  Fortunately, one recruit was willing to share his story about going from troubled youth to new officer.  He got help through a program known as JIFF.  It was nice putting a positive spin on what might have been just another negative story about Memphis Police.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Kidney Donation Costs Man His Job

Man donates kidney to friend in need

We got an email from a customer of hair stylist Steven Cotton who thought his would make a good story.  A young man he helped raise decided to donate a kidney to Cotton.  But the donor's employer couldn't keep him on the payroll during the recovery.. Until I got involved.  I filled in one of the donor's managers and she later contacted him.  He will not only remain on the payroll, but will receive some new benefits as well.  The surgery is next Tuesday.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Teens Record Themselves Killing Dog

Animal activists outraged after teens shoot dog

This video is outrageously offensive.  Two teens recorded themselves on a crime spree.  They killed a dog before shooting at a security guard.  Fortunately, they've already been convicted.  This video was played during their sentencing hearing.  I got wind of it and requested a copy from the criminal court clerk.  He was nice enough to deliver it to the station.  Even he commented on how disgusting it was.  Animal advocates hope it helps them increase penalties for such behavior.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Man Shot 3 Times Walking Home From ATM

Victim shot 3 times walking home from Frayser ATM

This is a story that arose from an overnight shooting we covered for our morning news.  MPD later informed us that the victim was shot 3 times during an attempted robbery.  Fortunately, the victim survived.  I was tasked with trying to get him to talk.  The police report revealed his address.. Which is very near the spot where a gunman shot him.  His aunt told me he was not up to speaking, at first.  But the victim came out of the house just as we were about to leave.  He got around pretty well considering two bullets are still lodged in his body.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Son's Death Raises Road Construction Concerns For Couple

Son's death raises road construction concerns for Memphis couple

This grieving mother reached out to us after seeing a road closure update from TDOT.  She and her husband blame ongoing construction for the death of their son.  I found where the victim had a BAC level higher than the legal limit.. But his family contend the results were unreliable.  If nothing else, the family hopes this story will encourage others to be more aware when driving in construction zones.